As a frontline sales manager, you need to know the real health of your deals
These top 5 health indicators will give any frontline sales manager a place to start in navigating whether or not a deal is on track. Use this quick checklist before your next one-on-one or pipeline review to know where best to spend your time. We’ll go into more detail on each of these health indicators and how to surface them in Gong.
Deal strategy best practices:
1 - Identify next steps
What does the timeline of communication look like moving forward? Is there a next meeting on the calendar? Ensure that there is a clear firm future commit in the form of a phone call or in-person meeting.
2 - Review activity levels
How frequent are touchpoints on the account? A healthy deal will have frequent touchpoints facilitated by both parties. If a deal looks sparse, ask if there is communication happening elsewhere.
3 - Understand if there is multi-threading
How many people are involved in the conversation? Identify that there are multiple customer contacts engaged in the deal. 6-8 contacts on any deal is a good starting point. A rep should be able to rattle off everyone involved and the role they play.
4 - Confirm access to power
Are you in touch with the right people? It doesn’t help a deal move forward if you haven’t engaged the person who recommends the purchase decision and the person who approves it. Check to make sure each deal has not only multiple stakeholders engaged but the key decision-makers.
5 - Dive into what's being communicated
Once you know that communication is happening, dig into what is actually being discussed. Bring yourself up to speed quickly by drilling into the latest email and call conversations. After all, nothing is more disheartening than seeing activity in an account only to find out it’s a prospect telling your rep no over and over again.
How can Gong help you quickly check the health of a deal?
Let’s look at how Gong can help you implement these best practices in more detail. We also have a step-by-step recipe you can follow.
1 - Identify solidified next steps to ensure that a deal doesn't stall out
Consistent communication between a rep and a prospect throughout the deal cycle is an important indicator of likelihood to close.
Along with seeing historical and current communication, being able to identify that next steps are scheduled is a critical component in assessing deal’s overall health.
Checking Salesforce or asking your reps to provide you with updates on each deal is time consuming and leaves room for missing information, bias and inflation. To help mitigate this, Gong provides a simple and accurate way to identify when and where next steps have been solidified.
The Gong Deal Board will provide a quick, teamwide snapshot that shows where everyone stands, in terms of both current communication and future calls. Use it to see all scheduled calls in one place and then choose to dig deeper into specific accounts when necessary.
2 - Uncover where you may be missing active touchpoints
A healthy deal will have a number of activities taking place. Look at how much activity is occurring on both the Deal Board and the individual Account Page. The Deal Board gives you a holistic view of how the team is communicating across active deals, while the Account Page provides more detail. How much activity do you need? Our research suggests email velocity is a key indicator of likelihood to close. Look for at least 8 emails per week on healthy deals, with 3 coming from the prospect.
3 - Confirm that consistent multi-threading is taking place
A sign of a healthy deal is seeing that a rep is in touch with multiple contacts at a company. This multi-threaded approach helps to mitigate risk if your main contact gets promoted, leaves the company, or for any other reason is no longer part of the buying process.
This strategy also helps to ensure that you build a base of influencers, including anyone who will have an input in the decision making process. Winning deals typically have multiple champions at the prospect.
Gong’s Engagement Map allows you to see who your reps are in touch with on active deals, and how often they are connecting.
4 - Ensure that reps are in touch with the right people
When determining the health of an deal, taking into account who a rep is in touch with is a key factor. A deal can have a frequent communication, with concrete next steps scheduled, and may still be at risk.
If reps are not in touch with the right people, the decision-makers, then the volume of touch-points yields little impact.
Let’s say that you see a late stage deal forecasted to close this month—there's a healthy level of engagement, with a good amount of back and forth. But you find out that communication has all been with enthusiastic junior team members, or people on an adjacent team to the one whose budget pays for the purchase. That would be cause for concern.
Gong’s Engagement Map not only allows you to see the number of touchpoints a rep has had with an account, it also shows you who your rep has engaged with. Armed with this knowledge, a deal that could have been at risk becomes an opportunity to guide your rep on how to reach the right level of contact in the right team.
5 - Dive deeper into customer interactions to fully understand the context
Sometimes a good level of engagement, solidified next steps, and being in touch with the right people can provide a false sense of security—what's missing here is context. You want to make sure that your reps are having high-value conversations, that they are handling objections effectively, and that they are mitigating risk along the way.
Get direct access to what is being said by both sides on the Account Page for the relevant prospect. This is also a great place for both you and your rep to maintain open lines of communication, to keep deals moving. Reps can tag you directly on comments attached to the Account Page to get guidance. Likewise, you can tag your reps with questions, suggestions, and coaching tips.
Ready to put these best practices and more into action?
For step-by-step instructions to help you immediately impact your deal strategy, take a look at the following recipe: Focus on deals that need your attention.